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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 


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Absolute Refutation of Preterism!

DOV Ministries


 

The doctrine of preterism robs believers in YAHSHUA IMMANUEL YAHWEH of Nazareth the Mashiyach (Jesus Christ), of the blessed hope of a bodily resurrection (Iyob-Job 19.26; I Kor. 15.35-54), the physical return of YAHSHUA to Earth (Rev. 19.11-21), their co-rulership of Earth with YAHSHUA for 1,000 years -- the Millennial Kingdom -- (2 Yahshua-Is. 11.6-16; 66.17-22; Rev. 20.1-9) and their co-rulership with YAHSHUA and YAHWEH the Father of Earth and the Cosmos through all eternity -- Eternal Kingdom (Rev. 22.5).

This doctrine also denies the teaching that the devil, the fallen angels and the demons are waging war with believers (I Kor. 10.20; 2 Kor. 11.14; Ephesians 6.10-18; Keph-Peter 5.8). The preterists claim the devil, fallen angels and demons are currently burning in the Lake of Fire. They blame Adamkind for all of our troubles.

The doctrine of preterism claims that ALL Bible prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D.! They actually believe that YAHSHUA physically returned at that time, but that He did not stay very long. They do not have a record of this in the Bible and all they have is an alleged historical account recorded by Josephus. They claim that in his record of the fall of Jerusalem there is a description of the return of YAHSHUA. I have read it and I don't see it.

To believe that ALL Bible prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. the preterists claim that virtually every prophecy is symbolic. The belief that the vast majority of last days prophecies in the Old and New Testaments are symbolic means they do not believe that YAHWEH Elohim say what They mean and They do not mean what They say! Is that blasphemy?

There is ONLY ONE hermeneutical principal for understanding Thee Infallible, Holy Word of YAHWEH Elohim:

"Take everything literally in context, unless the Scriptures say it is symbolic or unless it is physically impossible for it to be or to take place."

If you do not use this principle you will seldom understand a passage or doctrine. Those who reject this principle can make any passage say whatever they want it to say! This principle works in every passage in the Bible and it is the only principle that works every time.

It must be made perfectly clear that those who refuse to use this principle take away and add to Thee Infallible, Holy Word of YAHWEH Elohim by their alleged interpretation! Taking away and adding to the Scriptures is a serious sin! YAHWEH Elohim said that those who do this will have the plagues in Revelation come upon them and they will have their part of the Tree of Life and the Holy City taken away from them (Rev. 22.18,19)!

I should also note that true Bible students do not choose a doctrine and then find Scripture to support it. Instead they search out the correct doctrine on a subject by studying the Scriptures daily (Acts 17.11) and praying that the HOLY SPIRIT give them understanding (I Yochanan 2.20,27).

One must find every passage dealing with a specific doctrine and do a written exegetical study of those passages. He must then compare all of them and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle to come to a complete understanding. If a student misses just one passage he may come to an incorrect understanding.

As far as I know no one or no group has done a written exegetical study on every passage in the Bible dealing with the last things (eschatology) and put them together to come to a proper understanding of eschatology. I am working on it and have already realized that preterism, amillennialism, postmillennialism, dominion theology, covenant theology, historicism, pre-tribulationism, mid-tribulationism, post-tribulationism and pre-wrath late tribulationism are all wrong!

 

Fundamental Doctrines That Are Denied by Preterists

The denial of a future bodily resurrection of all believers and the catching up of living believers at the Rapture is a serious matter! Paulos says it is a blasphemous heresy (I Tim. 1.20; 2 Tim. 2.17). The argument by the preterists that Hymenaeus and Philetus simply claimed the spiritual resurrection had taken place a bit too early is not convincing.

A simple way to prove the bodily resurrection has not taken place is to dig up the bones of a believer who lived prior to 70 A.D. Since their bones are still there the resurrection has not taken place. The preterists try to escape this absolute proof by claiming the resurrection is not a bodily resurrection. By doing this they deny the bodily resurrection of believers and dig themselves in even deeper!

Preterists also deny that we will rule the Earth with YAHSHUA during the Millennial Kingdom. They claim that the Millennial Kingdom is symbolic of a change in the covenant and that we are ruling with YAHSHUA in a spiritual sense. This understanding is based on personal opinion rather than on Scripture. Since all personal opinions are worthless concerning Scripture -- their doctrine about this is worthless!

They also deny the clear statement that we will rule the Cosmos and the Earth with the Father and the Son throughout eternity from the New Earth and New Yerushalom (Rev. 22.5). They use the same argument to deny this as they do to deny the reality of a literal reign of YAHSHUA on Earth for 1,000 years. Their refusal to take YAHWEH Elohim at Their Word makes me and millions of others doubt that they are being taught by the HOLY SPIRIT (I Yochanan-John 2.20,27). Some even question their salvation.

 

Did YAHSHUA Return In 70 A.D.?

The major argument of the preterists that YAHSHUA returned in 70 A.D. are the phrases "for the time is near" (Rev. 1.3), "the things which must shortly take place" (Rev. 1.1), "Yes, I am coming quickly" (Rev. 22.18), "the day is at hand" (Rom. 13.12), "The end of all things is at hand" (I Keph 4.7), "the coming of the Lord is at hand" (Yaq. 5.8) and "the Judge is standing right at the door" (Yaq. 5.9).

We know for certain that the phrases that speak of the "nearness" of the Day of the Lord are not statements that YAHSHUA would return in a matter of months or years. They are mis-translations. They should have been translated that the Day of YAHWEH is "nearer." The Yavan (Greek) makes this perfectly clear and so does the context. Absolute proof that this is the correct understanding is found in 2 Yahshua-Isaiah 13.6, Yechezqel-Ezek. 30.3 and Zephaniah 1.7,14. The statement that "the day of YAHWEH is near" could not mean near in months or years because they were made hundreds of years before 70 A.D., the alleged time of their fulfillment! Those three passages totally demolish the preterist doctrine.

The phrase "the things which must shortly take place" (Rev. 1.1) should have been translated "the things which must take place in a short period of time." YAHSHUA merely said that the events described in the revelation would take place in a short period of time rather than drag on for decades. This also annihilates the doctrine that believers have been living in the Tribulation for the last 1931 years as some false teachers claim.

The phrase "I am coming quickly" (Rev. 3.11; 22.7,12,20) is another dreadful mistranslation. The Yavan word "tachu" that is translated "quickly" means "shortly, i.e. without delay, soon, or (by surprise) suddenly, or (by impl. of ease) readily: -- lightly, quickly (Strong's 5035). All YAHSHUA is saying is that when He returns He will return in an extremely quick manner. He will appear out of nowhere. It will be a surprise to those who are not watching for His return (I Thes. 5.2-4; Rev. 3.3; 15.15). The context demands that the translation be "suddenly" (by surprise) not in a short period of time. We know this is the proper understanding because YAHSHUA said He would return as a thief in the night (I Thes. 5.2; 2 Keph-Peter 3.10; Rev. 16.15) and like a trap (Lk. 21.34).

The phrases "the day is at hand" (Rom. 13.12), "The end of all things is at hand" (I Keph 4.7) and "the coming of the Lord is at hand" (Yaq. 5.8) are statements of edification. It is a way that the Lord encourages all believers to keep spiritually alert. The main passage dealing with spiritual alertness is found in I Thessalonians chapter five. We are commanded to not be caught by surprise by the start of the Tribulation which will come upon the wicked as a thief in the night. Believers who are spiritually alert (sober, awake) will not be caught by surprise. They will see it coming because there are several clear signs that must take place before the Tribulation can start (I Thes. 5.1-6; 2 Thes. 1-3). I must note that these two passages prove beyond all shadow of a doubt that believers will go into the Tribulation. The Pre-Tribulation doctrine is not Biblical!

We also know for certain that these phrases have nothing to do with the passage of time because Yaaqob wrote his letter in the 40s about 25 to 30 years prior to the alleged return of YAHSHUA in 70 A.D.. There is no way that 25 years can be considered "at hand." I might believe two years is "at hand" but not 25 years!

The phrase "for the time is near" (Rev. 1.3) must be taken in context. YAHSHUA says that those who read the prophecy and keep it are blessed. The revelation was given so believers would know when the Lord would return. To be able to learn when He would return they would study it carefully and watch for the events described in it to take place.

If Yochanan (John) wrote it in 66 A.D. as the preterists claim -- believers had less than four years to study it. It took time for the manuscript to be circulated throughout the Roman Empire and the vast majority of believers never read it. The few who were fortunate to read and study it had very little time to. Less than four years is not enough time to be able to understand it unless someone was studying it eight hours a day.

I spent about two hours a day for a full year to finish the first draft of my commentary on Revelation. I would need a few more years to compare the Old Testament and other New Testament passages on eschatology with it, proof-read and edit it for publication and come to a near thorough understanding of it.

It is illogical for one to think that YAHSHUA gave this vitally important revelation less than four years before His return. It is not enough time for believers to study it and have a meaningful understanding of it, especially since the vast majority of believers never read it. The New Testament writings took several years to be circulated throughout the Roman Empire. YAHSHUA would not wait until a few years before His return to give this revelation.

It is also absurd to think that the Lord would give to Paulos revelation concerning His return about 15 years before He gave His revelation to Yochanan. Paulos wrote only a few passages about the Second Advent (I Korinthians 15; I Thessalonians 5; 2 Thessalonians 2). Why would YAHSHUA give those revelations to Paulos 15 years before He gave His most detailed prophecy to Yochanan? If He knew He would return in 70 A.D. wouldn't He give the Revelation to His Body 15 or more years before He returned? Why would He wait until less than four years before His return to give His incredible revelation? It simply does not make sense.

The fact that very few theologians prior to the 20th Century even bothered to study eschatology because they considered it too difficult is a powerful proof that YAHSHUA would not give His revelation to His Body less than four years before His return. To do so would be an colossal act of incompetence and cause all rational people to question His divinity! Since the divinity of YAHSHUA of Nazareth is beyond question the preterist doctrine must be wrong!

How could such a massive revelation be of any value to believers, especially since 99% of them never saw it prior to 70 A.D. Preterism serves no useful purpose for preterists today except to refute the futurists. That is a colossal waste of time. The preterists should devote all of their time to sharing the Gospel with the lost, not trying to convert futurists, historicists and others to their doctrine. Their false doctrine cannot edify anyone or further the spread of the Gospel. It can only confuse and hinder the spread of the Gospel and cause dissension within the body of YAHSHUA (Gal. 5.20).

YAHWEH Elohim made prophecies through Their prophets that were not fulfilled for several hundreds years. Why would They change that pattern in the New Testament dispensation and make prophecies that were fulfilled in a matter of a few decades and in the case of the book of Revelation less than four years? It doesn't make sense and it is contrary to Their nature, pattern and statement that They never change (Ibriy-Heb. 13.8).

It should be noted that if the Lord has yet to make His second appearance the book of Revelation is vitally important! It has several warnings in it for people to not worship the beast or take his mark (13.10-18; 14.9-11; 18.4; 20.4). The consequences of not heeding those warnings is eternal torture in the Lake of Fire (14.9-11)!

So what does the phrase "for the time is near" mean? Since the Yavan word "eggus" is a verb it must be translated "nearer" rather than "near." The translation "at hand" is improper and gives the impression it will take place within a short space of time. We know "nearer" is correct because Keph (Peter) used another variation of this verb ("eggizo" - Strong's 1448) in his first letter (4.7). The New American Standard has a footnote explaining this. It is tragic that such a pernicious, false doctrine could be created because of a faulty translation of a few passages. This is not surprising since myriad other false doctrines have been peddled to Adamkind by the devil and his minions through poor translations. A prime example is Deuteronomy 6.4.

The preterist dogma that phrases like these deal with the passage of time is not convincing. The context and history clearly prove that they have nothing to do with time!

The phrase "the Judge is is standing right at the door" (Yaq. 5.9) is not a statement of time. It is a clear warning that YAHSHUA is ready to judge believers at all times. When a believer rebels against YAHSHUA, He disciplines him and if that person does not repent YAHSHUA may judge him more severely by taking him home. This is all that this statement means. A clear example of this is found in Acts 5.1-11 along with I Korinthians 5.1-5 and 2 Korinthians 2.5-11.

 

YAHSHUA Told His Disciples They Would Not See His Return!

Another irrefutable proof that the preterist doctrine is wrong is the clear statement by YAHSHUA to the disciples that they would not see His physical return! "The days shall come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it" (Lk. 17.22). This is why He told them not to worry about His return when they begged Him to tell them when He would (Acts 1.6,7).

The preterists claim that the Lord's statement that some of His disciples would see His physical return is a clear misunderstanding of His statement. When He said, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Leviy-Matt. 16.28), He did not mean they would see His physical return. He meant they would see Him display the glory that He will exhibit when He returns. He displayed this glory six days later (Leviy-Matt. 17.1-9). His transfiguration was the fulfillment of that statement!

We know YAHSHUA spoke of His transfiguration and not of His physical return because He would have contradicted Himself!  To say all of His disciples would not see His physical return and then say some of them would see it is a clear contradiction! Since there cannot be a single contradiction in Thee Infallible, Holy Word of YAHWEH Elohim -- we know for certain that YAHSHUA clearly spoke of His transfiguration (Leviy 16.28-17.9) and not of His physical return! This is just one of several absolute proofs that the preterist doctrine is a false doctrine!

The preterists also argue that "this generation" (Leviy-Matt. 24.32) is the generation alive at the time YAHSHUA spoke. One can believe that, but the context forces one to understand that it is the generation that is alive when the predictions begin to be fulfilled. Since none of the things predicted by YAHSHUA took place around 70 A.D. save the destruction of the temple -- it is an assumption to believe "this generation" was the First Century A.D. generation.

I must also note that none of the predictions in the book of Revelation and the letters to the Thessalonians were fulfilled around 70 A.D. Before you believe the preterist doctrine you should find their fulfillment in secular historical accounts. To say the predictions are symbolic is a lame way to wiggle out of the fact that there is no record of them being fulfilled in a literal manner.

Here are just a few of the things YAHSHUA said would take place before He returned that did not:

The Gospel was not preached to all nations (Mk. 13.10)!

All the nations did not come against Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Zech. 14.2)!

Half of the residents of Jerusalem were not led captive into all the world (Zech. 14.2; Lk. 21.24)!

Jerusalem was not trodden down by the nations (Gentiles) until the times of the nations were fulfilled (Lk. 21.24) -- a period of at least 42 months (Rev. 11.2)!

The Gospel was not preached to all the nations in the world. Even if you believe "all" refers to the nations in the Roman Empire the Gospel was not taken to all of them. It was not preached in all of the British Isles, France (Gaul), parts of Germany, North Africa and Libya.

All the nations of the world did not fight against Jerusalem in 70 A.D. unless you believe "all" refers to the nations of the Roman Empire.

Since the preterists claim YAHSHUA returned in 70 A.D. when General Titos took Jerusalem it was impossible for the residents of Jerusalem to be led captive into all the world (Zech. 14.2; Lk. 21.24; Rev. 11.2) before YAHSHUA returned! This fact annihilates the preterist doctrine!


Bellying Up to the DOV Bar

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A Cranky Christian's Take on Preterism
James Patrick Holding

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We recently looked at an earnest Christian site's review of preterism; now we take a few steps down the hill. We were asked to look at another critique of preterism, this one by a site that's a little more, shall we say, unusual. The owner seems to have an affectation of using Hebrew names (i.e., "Yahshua" rather than Jesus); in principle this is a matter of one's own conscience, but I would advise the owner to consider what kind of barrier this may be to evangelism. The site also seems to endorse Anglo-Israelism, and has a section of "awards" to various Christian leaders (some questionable, others not so) for "arrogance". I imagine I'll get one after this; inscribe it in gold, please. On the other hand the owner might want to save one for himself; the title "ABSOLUTE REFUTATION OF PRETERISM" in all caps doesn't bespeak a humble spirit, now, does it?

Beyond that the scholarship of this site is fairly dismal, and its response to preterism specifically, fairly disoriented. The site (run by someone who labels himself DOV) tackles the full preterist view as though it were the only option (i.e., the resurrection has already occurred) and does not differentiate it, that I can see, from the partial preterist view. Hence we actually will not address much of what he has to say, but we will offer some comments on that which is relevant to partial preterism.

Here's a taste to begin of the sort of, er, affirmation we will find:

The doctrine of preterism claims that ALL Bible prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D.! They actually believe that YAHSHUA physically returned at that time, but that He did not stay very long. They do not have a record of this in the Bible and all they have is an alleged historical account recorded by Josephus. They claim that in his record of the fall of Jerusalem there is a description of the return of YAHSHUA. I have read it and I don't see it.
When the new world order is established believers in YAHSHUA IMMANUEL YAHWEH of Nazareth the Mashiyach will be hunted down and martyred by the millions. Only a few thousand will escape the slaughter and they will not escape martydom for long. Eventually all believers will be exterminated from planet Earth. That is what the preterist worldview is. It is the most depressing and debilitating worldview imaginable!
Let's also have a look at how DOV thinks we need to do our studies. As for scholars who have done the legwork, DOV has about as much regard for them, as, oh, a Skeptic does:

No true believer who is taught by the HOLY SPIRIT can misconstrue these clear statements.
I have heard Gary [DeMar] on the radio and his understanding of eschatology is extremely limited.
I have [Sproul's] book on eschatology and will soon refute it. From what I have heard him say his understanding of eschatology is dreadful!
The worst thing to do is to study a doctrine by using the writings of fallible men. A true Bible student studies every passage in Thee Infallible, Holy Word of YAHWEH Elohim dealing with a specific doctrine (Acts 17.11) and relying on the HOLY SPIRIT to teach him (I Yochanan 2.20,27). After he has put all the passages together in a harmonious consensus he can then consult commentaries, books and bishops to see if he has been given the proper understanding. The worst thing a Bible student can do is study commentaries, books, tapes, etc. to come to an understanding of a doctrine.
Well, that sure hits you, doesn't it? It probably doesn't occur to DOV that 1 John 2:20, 27 comes in the middle of one of the most didactically-oriented letters in the NT. If believers had the Spirit to teach them literally everything, why was there need to even write letters? Actual arguments against preterism -- such as they are -- do get produced, but improve little; to wit:

To believe that ALL Bible prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. the preterists claim that virtually every prophecy is symbolic. The belief that the vast majority of last days prophecies in the Old and New Testaments are symbolic means they do not believe that YAHWEH Elohim say what They mean and They do not mean what They say! Is that blasphemy?
Every bit as blasphemous, I suppose, as saying that the trees of the field will not actually clap their hands (Is. 55:12). DOV tells us that there is "ONLY ONE hermeneutical principal [sic] for understanding Thee Infallible, Holy Word of YAHWEH Elohim: 'Take everything literally in context, unless the Scriptures say it is symbolic or unless it is physically impossible for it to be or to take place.'" Hmm. Checking Is. 55:12 I don't see anything saying it is symbolic. As for that "physically impossible" routine, well, come now, DOV -- it is physically "possible" for God to give the trees hands to clap, isn't it? Isn't that a rather convenient rule for your purposes? A little arbitrary, perhaps? DOV invokes the panic button hermeneutic thereafter: "Those who reject this principle can make any passage say whatever they want it to say!" They can try, DOV, but that's why people like me are here, to put a stop to them. And I've seen plenty of people use that "principle" and STILL make passages say what they want them to say. Now tell us: Where exactly do you find that "principle" in Scripture?

And so, after a few threats, a little more lecturing, and a statement that would win a Delusion of Grandeur Award ("As far as I know no one or no group has done a written exegetical study on every passage in the Bible dealing with the last things (eschatology) and put them together to come to a proper understanding of eschatology. I am working on it and have already realized that preterism, amillennialism, postmillennialism, dominion theology, covenant theology, historicism, pre-tribulationism, mid-tribulationism, post-tribulationism and pre-wrath late tribulationism are all wrong!"), we get to where DOV refers to "Fundamental Doctrines That Are Denied by Preterists". Many of these entries refer to FULL preterism, and we'll just skip those. DOV is right-on about the resurrection body, and about Rev. 20-22 being already fulfilled, though his method of argumentation in some cases leaves a lot to be desired, to wit:

Preterists also deny that we will rule the Earth with YAHSHUA during the Millennial Kingdom. They claim that the Millennial Kingdom is symbolic of a change in the covenant and that we are ruling with YAHSHUA in a spiritual sense. This understanding is based on personal opinion rather than on Scripture. Since all personal opinions are worthless concerning Scripture -- their doctrine about this is worthless!
Yikes. Argument by manic declaration. I think DOV might want to have a peek at how Wayne Harrington operates and consider that wild-eyed statements like this don't give him a great deal of credibility. At any rate DOV finally does get to a key for partial preterists, the "time texts" which speak of Jesus' parousia as near, soon, etc. Unfortunately for DOV all he has to offer is a confused mess of what can only charitably be called DOV droppings:

We know for certain that the phrases that speak of the "nearness" of the Day of the Lord are not statements that YAHSHUA would return in a matter of months or years. They are mis-translations. They should have been translated that the Day of YAHWEH is "nearer." The Yavan (Greek) makes this perfectly clear and so does the context.
The Greek makes this perfectly clear? Not that any commentary or expert in Greek has ever said. DOV doesn't tell us what he knows about Greek, but even if right that would not help such passages as the "this generation" passages or lessen any preterist interpretation, since even if 70 is the target, it would still be "nearer" than before.

Absolute proof that this is the correct understanding is found in 2 Yahshua-Isaiah 13.6, Yechezqel-Ezek. 30.3 and Zephaniah 1.7,14. The statement that "the day of YAHWEH is near" could not mean near in months or years because they were made hundreds of years before 70 A.D., the alleged time of their fulfillment! Those three passages totally demolish the preterist doctrine.
Unfortunately again for DOV, "the day of the Lord" is not a phrase that is uniquely associated with any particular eschatological event. No matter how maniacally it is stated, that won't change rational, contextual exegesis.

The phrase "the things which must shortly take place" (Rev. 1.1) should have been translated "the things which must take place in a short period of time." YAHSHUA merely said that the events described in the revelation would take place in a short period of time rather than drag on for decades.
Ergh?!? We aren't given any documentation or proof for this stunning new translation; apparently "should have" is based only on, "I say so" -- so far, at any rate; later we are vaguely referred to a "footnote" in the NASV, with no explanation given and no bibliographic data. DOV does argue that tachu can mean "suddenly" or surprisingly, and that is indeed possible, but one might consider that such a long chain of events as described in Revelation is a little hard to swallow as being described that way. One may as well say that we will take a hike in the woods "suddenly". Note as well, despite DOV, that the texts do not merely say that Jesus' return will happen tachu; it says that the things will happpen tachu. DOV protests that the context of a surprise (1 Thess. 5:2-4, Rev. 3:3, 15:15) prefers his view, but it has actually no more advantage if tachu means "soon" since something coming soon can surprise someone unprepared just as easily as something coming suddenly. Unpreparedness gets the same penalty whatever the case.

After this DOV flies in a circle and gets rather disoriented. "The phrases 'the day is at hand' (Rom. 13.12), 'The end of all things is at hand' (I Keph 4.7) and 'the coming of the Lord is at hand' (Yaq. 5.8)", he mumbles, "are statements of edification. It is a way that the Lord encourages all believers to keep spiritually alert." Um, yeah, that's true, but "at hand" says at hand. So now, DOV, is God lying to us just to keep us spiritually alert? That's not very nice, is it? DOV next drops some non-specific comments about the "Tribulation" (using the usual popular exegesis that mashes together 1 Thess. 5/2 Thes. 1-3 and Revelation, without any textual justification at all) and then tries this tack:

We also know for certain that these phrases have nothing to do with the passage of time because Yaaqob wrote his letter in the 40s about 25 to 30 years prior to the alleged return of YAHSHUA in 70 A.D.. There is no way that 25 years can be considered "at hand." I might believe two years is "at hand" but not 25 years!
So, um, DOV, you're now saying that God fibbed even worse because he told people that his day was 2 years or less away, and did that happen? Can we get a consistent answer, here? We'd also like some justification for that idea that "at hand" can't mean 25 years. After all, 25 years is a mere blip compared to the time-history of the Jews as a whole; like "soon" it is a relative term. We can say "soon we will go shopping" and mean 1 day; we can say "soon men will be able to land on Mars" and mean 20-30 years. If we take Matt. 26:18 into account "at hand" means "in the next few hours." Ouch.

DOV offers another rather whiny explanation that he thinks cuts the mustard, to wit, about Revelation:

If Yochanan (John) wrote it in 66 A.D. as the preterists claim -- believers had less than four years to study it. It took time for the manuscript to be circulated throughout the Roman Empire and the vast majority of believers never read it. The few who were fortunate to read and study it had very little time to. Less than four years is not enough time to be able to understand it unless someone was studying it eight hours a day.
Um, sorry, DOV, but it would take no more than a year (not "several years") for the manuscript to be circulated to churches throughout the Empire -- less if in the springtime -- and keep in mind that this was a high-context society, so that all of the symbols and words were much more "at hand" than they would be to us living to the 21st century in a low-context setting. This is not an adequate response and displays an abysmal ignorance of how the social world of the Bible differed from ours. (This is the sort of thing the Holy Spirit apparently hasn't been giving DOV the goods on lately!) They would not need years of study to get the job done. They knew what everything meant in ways WE don't.

Of course this assumes that Revelation was meant to be written for everyone to read anyway, which is also open to question. If, as is held in preterists of all stripes, Revelation is a "covenant lawsuit" document against Israel, it was not intended for mass consumption but was more along the lines of legal documentation. It might shock DOV (and others!) to hear that some books in the Bible, for example Leviticus, were never meant to be sat down and read through by every person on earth.

DOV hurtles through the First Dimension and asks, "It is also absurd to think that the Lord would give to Paulos revelation concerning His return about 15 years before He gave His revelation to Yochanan. Paulos wrote only a few passages about the Second Advent (I Korinthians 15; I Thessalonians 5; 2 Thessalonians 2). Why would YAHSHUA give those revelations to Paulos 15 years before He gave His most detailed prophecy to Yochanan?" If Rev was a covenant lawsuit document, then it makes perfect sense that it would come out in 66 AD, just as the application was heating up. It would have been at the end of the chance for Israel to change its ways. That's why it makes no sense to DOV: He hasn't studied these materials in context, he's just read them "straight" assuming he can understand them as is with the help of the Holy Spirit when he plops a quarter in.

DOV beats this into the ground with more rhetoric ("Preterism serves no useful purpose for preterists today except to refute the futurists. That is a colossal waste of time.") but actual argument doesn't appear again until we get to:

YAHWEH Elohim made prophecies through Their prophets that were not fulfilled for several hundreds years. Why would They change that pattern in the New Testament dispensation and make prophecies that were fulfilled in a matter of a few decades and in the case of the book of Revelation less than four years?
Gee, DOV, we find OT prophecies that were fulfilled within days, don't we? What about the prophecy of Jezebel's death (2 Kings 9:10)? That took hundreds of years, didn't it? And it doesn't even account for their present-orientation.

DOV hoists up one more argument section, "YAHSHUA Told His Disciples They Would Not See His Return!" This we are told is another "irrefutable proof that the preterist doctrine is wrong" (polish that arrogance award!) but the one referral given is Luke 17:22, "The days shall come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it." Well, um, all that says is that, with reference to a specific desire, they will not see it; that does not mean they will never see it, and its not like the desire would be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Moreover, if this is a specific indication that those present will NOT see this AT ALL, then of what use were the early admonitions to be watchful? DOV is tying himself in knots trying to get this bull tamed.

After addressing a claim about Jesus' promise before the Transfiguration which we do not share, DOV tries to bounce the "this generation" texts into submission, but his only answer is that "the context forces one to understand that it is the generation that is alive when the predictions begin to be fulfilled. Since none of the things predicted by YAHSHUA took place around 70 A.D. save the destruction of the temple -- it is an assumption to believe 'this generation' was the First Century A.D. generation." Humbug, eh? It did all happen and we're still waiting for word from DOV on why it didn't, other than the vague accommodation re literal and figurative above which doesn't answer the question. All DOV says back here is, "Nuh uh!" -- wish I could do that. Oh, all right, he does try: "Here are just a few of the things YAHSHUA said would take place before He returned that did not," he tells us:

The Gospel was not preached to all nations (Mk. 13.10)!
Actually, yes it was -- DOV chooses the Markan version, which is less specific than Matthew, which uses the word oikuemene denoting the Roman Empire. Mark never uses this word in his Gospel (though Revelaton does!). Contextually, then, and by the parallel, "nations" means those of Rome.

All the nations did not come against Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Zech. 14.2)!
We haven't looked closely at Zechariah in these terms yet; however, offhand, if "nations" again means just those of Rome, then this did indeed happen as Roman forces composed of persons from around the Empire came against Jerusalem.

Half of the residents of Jerusalem were not led captive into all the world (Zech. 14.2; Lk. 21.24)!
Actually, they were. But we'll see that in more detail soon. Note as well that Luke uses "nations" with specific reference to the oikoumene (Luke 21:25-6).

Jerusalem was not trodden down by the nations (Gentiles) until the times of the nations were fulfilled (Lk. 21.24) -- a period of at least 42 months (Rev. 11.2)!
This is yet another bad case of smash-mouth exegesis -- there's no call at all to link the period of Luke 21:24 and Rev. 11:2 as being the same. On the 42 months see here. As for the time of the Gentiles, Jerusalem is of course still not wholly in Jewish hands, even if we could argue that the Jews of today are equal to the Judaens of yesteryear,.

The Gospel was not preached to all the nations in the world. Even if you believe "all" refers to the nations in the Roman Empire the Gospel was not taken to all of them. It was not preached in all of the British Isles, France (Gaul), parts of Germany, North Africa and Libya.
That's DOV the historian for you. Tradition tells us that the Gospel reached these places before 70, and if it reached Rome by the early 40s then it made it over halfway there in less than half the time required. That response just won't cut the mustard.

All the nations of the world did not fight against Jerusalem in 70 A.D. unless you believe "all" refers to the nations of the Roman Empire.
We do, for reasons noted above.

Since the preterists claim YAHSHUA returned in 70 A.D. when General Titos [sic] took Jerusalem it was impossible for the residents of Jerusalem to be led captive into all the world (Zech. 14.2; Lk. 21.24; Rev. 11.2) before YAHSHUA returned!
Excuse me, but where does it say that the leading into captivity will be finished, and every man in place, before the parousia? None of these verses say, "They will be led into captivity, and THEN the return will happen." Not one of them, and not one says that every person intended for captivity will get in that state at the same time and before the parousia. This is just hyperliteralist nitpicking that doesn't grasp that the ancients didn't always write with strict chronological order in mind.
 

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Date:
27 Aug 2002
Time:
16:26:00

Comments

For a fellow that says "Take everything literally in context, unless the Scriptures say it is symbolic or unless it is physically impossible for it to be or to take place." He doesn't do a very GOOD job.

 


Date: 03 Jan 2008
Time: 14:52:02

Comments:

Preterism forces the greater part of prophecy into a past fulfillment around the first few centuries with a past spiritual return of Christ founded on their assertion of certain passages and terms like "generation" in Matthew 24:34. Specifically addressing the aforementioned term "generation", it has more than one sense and in this case must represent the people of an age without any immediacy because this "generation" was not to pass in anticipation of the end of Jerusalem being trodden down by the nations corresponding with the end of the time of the Gentiles. Clearly, the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, the captivity of the Jews by the nations, the injury to the city and the time of the Gentiles are the things that must be fulfilled before this "generation" passes, according to the parallel chapter in Luke (Luke 21:24). Generation in this context represents the people of the intra-advent age and we are included. The Preteristís assertion of the term generation is woefully misapprehended as is much of their doctrine.
 

 

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